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Credit Repair Services – Consider the Fine Print

Posted on January 14, 2012

When you contemplate signing up with a credit repair agency in an effort to reset your financial priorities and boost your credit score, you need to know what you are getting yourself into for the long haul. Not all agencies claiming to help your score are operating on the up-and-up. Many are just in it for the money and counting on your ignorance of the law and desperation for a better score to make a fast buck.

Here are some tips to help you avoid getting taken in by countless repair scams and what you should know about their service contracts.

  • Beware promises that are not realistic such as claims of ‘overnight credit repair’ or ability to remove all negative information from your report. Both concepts are impossible and in some cases illegal.
  • Realize you can do everything yourself for free. Consumers have the power to repair their own mistakes. They only part of the equation they have to pay out of pocket for is the credit score information which costs about $15 from each reporting agency. Otherwise, all other work is free including filing disputes of inaccurate negative information contained in a credit report.
  • NEVER pay upfront for any kind of assistance or repair. Credit repair companies are not allowed to charge customers for services not yet rendered so if you are asked to pay upfront for any type of help, walk away and find a legitimate business to work with.

Points of Contract

Review the contract in full. Many disreputable credit repair agencies rely on a consumer’s lack of interest in documentation they are signing. Too often, consumers rely on the company representative to review the highlights of the contract and then take them at their word. If you do not read the entire contract – including the fine print – you may be find you are involved in a contract you can’t get out of which does not suit your needs.

Here are some tips for reviewing a contract with a credit repair agency:

  • Before committing to any repair program, do your homework to first locate a few reputable companies and schedule a consultation to go over the programs being offered. When you find a company you like, request a copy of the contract and take it home for review before signing up.
  • Within the contract, there should be definite details about the total cost of the program including all fees and the schedule on which they are expected to be paid. Never pay upfront fees until contract signed and services have been started.
  • Look for the detailed outline of the services being provided within the contract. Make sure everything is clear and if there are questions about the services, be sure to ask upfront before signing.
  • Check for a program timeline that outlines how long the program will take to complete and make sure it is in line with your other financial goals.
  • If the company is making any guarantees about services, be sure they are included in the contract. Ask questions to be sure there are no loopholes in these guarantees such as instances where such guarantees can be voided. Determine what rules the program has about dropping out of the program or having the program terminated by the credit repair agency.
  • Also, be sure the basic details of the service’s provided on the contract including the name of the company, its location, and the relevant contact numbers.

In some cases, credit repair services can be of great assistance for the consumer struggling with their financial issues. If you choose to enlist the help of a credit repair agency, ask friends and family for referrals and take the time to thoroughly check into the offers being made by several companies as not all programs will be a good fit for your financial abilities or in line with your financial goals.

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